The members of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) working in the rural health facilities urged the provincial authorities to provide them with the promised raise in their monthly salaries. They made the demand after a meeting in the office of district health office (DHO) on Saturday.
Over 150 young doctors serving in Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals, Rural Health Centres (RHC) and Basic Health Units (BHU), after attending an official meeting, expressed concerns over what they called discrimination. They said that the government raised the salaries of young doctors working in the tertiary health care centres in the cities, while those serving elsewhere were ignored.
“The government promised to pay Rs15,000 monthly as health professional allowance and Rs3,370 as pay protection package to all medical officers serving in BPS-17 in all government medical health facilities,” said Dr Ghulam Abbas, general secretary YDA Rawalpindi Rural Chapter.
The doctor said the government had started paying the promised allowances to the doctors working in big hospitals in the city areas but the doctors stationed in rural areas under the command of district government never got the raises.
The meeting of the doctors from rural areas was attended among others by Dr Muhammad Ali Mirza, Dr Imran Yunus district coordinator, Dr Imran Raja from YDA Kahuta, Dr Arshad Arain from YDA Gujar Khan and Dr Abdul Saleem from YDA Murree.
The doctors said there are as many as 98 BHUs in Rawalpindi, with six THQs and eight RHCs and over 200 young doctors were performing their duties in these areas.
The health practitioners from rural areas sided with the YDA in their protest for pay raise. The doctors said that when they contacted the district account office for the allowances, they were told that the provincial authorities were yet to transfer the funds to the district government. “The formal notification for this was issued in July by the health department on the orders of chief minister and still no progress has been made,” said a doctor.
The doctors warned that if they were not paid the promised allowanced, they would launch a protest campaign.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.